Small biz health care listening tour coming to Columbus

Small business owners will have the opportunity to share what they think is and isn’t working about federal health care reform on Thursday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at The Economic and Community Development Institute, located at 1566 Old Leonard Ave. in Columbus.

At that time, the Ohio Small Business Network on Health Care and the Small Business Majority will be convening an Ohio “listening tour” session to gather feedback about the Affordable Care Act, as well as provide business owners with more information about it.

The feedback will be compiled into a report and circulated to policymakers and other small businesses. Sessions are also being planned for Northeast and Southwest Ohio.

In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 were signed into law. The two laws are collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act, which includes a variety of provisions regarding insurance coverage, health care choices, and health care accessibility. (The ACA provides tax credits for about 127,000 Ohio businesses, according to Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage.)

Section 1311 of the ACA provides that each state may elect to establish an American Health Insurance Exchange that would facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans and help establish a Small Business Health Options Program designed to assist qualified employers with enrolling their employees in those health plans.

Exchanges are required to be up and running by January 2014 and in a few months, planning for Ohio’s exchange will be underway.

The listening tour session at ECDI is free of charge and a light breakfast will be served.

For more information, contact Progress Ohio at 614-441-9145.